Friday, April 3, 2015

BlueSmartControl enters the LEGO PF remote control race

Following on the SBrick by Vengit steps, there is another player in the Power Functions Bluetooth control business, trying to get their slice. It is named BlueSmartControl as you can see from the banner above.

I got to see this sometime back via some other fans who got a prototype to test, and it is reported to work.
Today I got to see the first videos on YouTube by these guys (BlueSmartControl Office) which are based in Vienna (Austria).
Their solution was demonstrated at a LEGO fan exhibition in Vienna few days back, with some LEGO Technic models and a LEGO Trains layout including trains of course, but also automated semaphores and switches.

In the video below we can see a 42030 Volvo L350F Wheel Loader being controlled from a smartphone, and the white BT receiver on top of the engine compartment where the LEGO IR receivers use to be.

I've faced several types of feedback, going from a good working app for Android phones, to they not selling this solution yet because they aiming for a working Android App before going public.

When we know that Vengit is struggling to make their solution stable and widely compatible with the many BLE Android phones in the market, I wonder whether it will be much easier for these guys, or they also have it working without flaws for a controlled and limited set of devices.

From above we can see what seems to be several types of prototyping cases still with crude 3D printed look and a couple of customized PF cables to connect with external devices like PF motors, lights, etc.

Before knowing about detailed specs or current performance what standout to me is the design solution itself. Knowing how scarce the LEGO PF extension wires have been, how expensive they are and the lack of viable alternatives, I just imagine how expensive the whole solution can turn with one single BT receiver to control six external devices, if only one gets connected to each port.

Looking forward to see how this BT LEGO PF remote control race will develop in the next weeks/months!


Philo said...

I got a prototype two weeks ago and I must say that it works very well. A few strong points:
- All configuration can be done from the mobile device
- you can create complex timed movement sequences
- An extension allows to act on input from contacts or from RFID tags
- It's compatible with fairly old devices with BlueTooth 2.1 (it works fine with my old Nexus-S phone)

Fernando Correia said...

Wow, that's good to know it is feature rich and probably widely compatible with BT devices, as it seems to be not specific to BLE.

Sylvain CACHEUX said...

I also have some prototypes and confirm that it's working very very well, far better than SBrick. I supports events from sensors, complex macros, and is compatible with old devices (no BLE like SBrick...).
Coming: an indiegogo campaign to finance the 1rst fabrication run...
One point: SBrick is violating Lego PFS patent. The solution of BSC may be a bit more expensive, but totaly legal...

Sylvain CACHEUX said...

Hello everybody,

KickStarter campaign is finaly launched:

More than "just another SBrick", BSC allows 6 channels, no need of PC/internet, and mainly the ability to do automation with sensors (see KS page for details).

See you soon!

Jetro said...

Should be able to post a serious update sometime next week ;)

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